However, how can you make this personal connection most effectively when you are using a webcam in your Webinar?
In 2010, the first ever televised leadership debate was broadcast in the UK. This type of event has been staged in the US and elsewhere for years but never before in the UK.
David Cameron spoke for the Conservatives, Nick Clegg for the Liberal Democrats and Gordon Brown spoke for Labour.
At the time there was arguably a lot of common ground between parties – and this was the first time when personality was crucial. It was the first time the public seen the leaders on screen together. Who would ‘play the part of the leader of the country’ most effectively?
It was clearly critical to get it right –
- How could they differentiate their messages to the public?
- How could they connect with the audience more effectively than the other speakers?
The first debate started and all the candidates were given time to talk individually as well as debate. I immediately noticed that one candidate, Nick Clegg, was doing something very different to the others – he was deliberately trying to connect directly and personally with audience not just in the live venue but with the millions tuned in at home as well.
How was he doing this?
Very simply, he was looking directly into the camera and talking directly to the folks at home.
It seems an obvious idea but made such a difference to me, watching at home.
So if you are using a webcam for your Webinar, why not try the same, simple idea to connect better with your audience?
I don’t think it’s necessary to look into the camera lens throughout the Webinar and it’s often impossible to position the webcam just above screen, let alone right in the middle of it. In my experience, audiences are used to seeing hosts and presenters looking at their screens so it shouldn’t be a problem. However, particularly if you know your audience appreciate a very personal approach, you could start off and close the session looking straight into the camera and get your presenter to do same, if appropriate.
Other times when it might be helpful to look like you are paying particular attention might be when listening to questions or when you are delivering the key messages of the Webinar.
…in the old marketing adage, ‘ people buy people’ and making an emotional and personal connection by looking straight into your webcam might help you to do this – why not give it a go and see what the response is from your audience?